Day: August 10, 2021

Single-use plastics have boomed during COVID-19. Joana Correia Prata wants to reverse the trend

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

University of Aveiro microplastics researcher and veterinarian recommends policy priorities for dealing with plastic waste.

Exploring Illinois’ Lake Michigan Coast: The Geology of Our Evolving Shoreline

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The 63-mile long Lake Michigan shoreline of Illinois varies in shape, land cover, and land use. The physical features of the landscape were shaped by past geologic processes and separate the coast into three zones—the Zion beach-ridge plain, the Lake Border moraines, and the Chicago lake plain—based on their distinct landforms.

This woman was the first scientist to chart the physics of climate change—in 1856

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Eunice Foote discovered that carbon dioxide absorbs heat and theorized that if the Earth’s air filled with more CO2, the planet’s temperature would rise.

LanzaTech makes products from carbon dioxide

Read the full story at Waste360.

Climate technology developer and commercializer LanzaTech has been awarded $4.1M from the Department of Energy (DOE) for a project leveraging technology that uses carbon dioxide (CO2)-rich gas, such as from corn grain ethanol refining, to make chemicals and fuels. A major benefit is that the CO2 is captured before it is released to the atmosphere and put to beneficial use for multiple products. But a challenge is that this gas compound is energy poor, and using it requires a sustainable energy source, so LanzaTech couples it with renewable hydrogen from electricity, which breaks down the CO2 to make the products.

The Economic Benefits of the New Climate Economy in Rural America

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Rural US communities can reap significant benefits from investments in the new climate economy, including measures to advance clean energy systems, remediate abandoned fossil fuel production sites, restore trees to the landscape and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Collectively, these measures can create new economic opportunities in rural places while addressing climate change. This working paper presents a detailed analysis of the rural economic impact from federal policies that invest in the new climate economy, including information about the geographic and sectoral distribution of those investments. This analysis finds that with a total annual federal investment of $55 billion, nearly $15 billion would flow to rural counties, supporting nearly 260,000 rural jobs over at least five years. This working paper also offers recommendation on policy vehicles to ensure that federal investment reaches rural areas and communities most in need.

A Hot Fracking Mess: How the Lack of Regulation of Oil and Gas Production Leads to Radioactive Waste in Our Water, Air, and Communities

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Oil and gas extraction activities, including fracking, drilling, and production, can release radioactive materials that endanger workers, nearby communities, and the environment. The United States has known about these dangers for at least 30 years, ever since an EPA report revealed the health risks of unregulated radioactive oil and gas waste. Since then, additional research has confirmed those findings. Yet, even as oil and gas exploration and production have boomed across the United States, the country continues to lack any specific federal regulations governing the handling and disposal of radioactive waste and materials generated from these activities, leaving Americans reliant on spotty and loophole-ridden state oversight.

To protect public health and communities from the dangers of radiation, Congress must close federal gaps, states should enact their own comprehensive regulations, and the oil and gas industry must provide worker and community protections.

After the flood, Germany battles to clear mountains of trash

Read the full story from Reuters.

Germany’s most devastating floods in 60 years have created mountains of trash, from broken fridges to wrecked cars, piled up on roadsides and in makeshift dumps. Disposing of it could take weeks and local leaders have appealed for help.

A different kind of solar technology is poised to go big

Read the full story at Grist.

Silicon is facing bottlenecks and trade sanctions. Is this cadmium telluride’s moment?

How industry can help reduce consumer food waste

Read the full story in Food Business News.

About a third of the edible food produced in the United States is wasted, according to the report “A national strategy to reduce food waste at the consumer level” published in 2020 by the National Academies Press.

“If you could imagine buying three bags of groceries, coming home and throwing one away,” said Barbara O. Schneeman, PhD, one of the report’s editors and a professor emerita at the University of California – Davis.

She gave details on the report in a July 20 presentation at the Institute of Food Technologists’ virtual FIRST conference.

Deadly coral disease sweeping Caribbean linked to water from ships

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Researchers find ‘significant relationship’ between stony coral tissue loss disease and nearby shipping.

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